Friday, September 7, 2012

What’s your favorite plant in your garden right now?

So…what’s your favorite plant in your garden right now?

I know what you’re thinking, that question belongs right up there with “where do you see yourself in five years?” you know, the worst job interview question EVER!

Recently I was asked that question by someone I respect, it caught me a little off-guard and so I stopped to think about my reply and realized it was a question worth consideration. “What’s your favorite plant” (yawn) is a much different question from “what's your favorite plant in your garden right now?” In the past I've given the standard (somewhat) flippant response answering that my favorite is whatever plant is closest to me, or the most recently purchased. However the difference in the two questions, when asked with genuine interest, had me thinking.

My response? The Colocasia and Alocasia in my garden are my favorite, right now. They’ve had a little heat to help push them into the kind of growth that makes them pop. The ones which I over-wintered started out last spring with just a single leaf, or in one case not even that. So for them to have six or more leaves is exciting!

They are trying to play garden star right now, especially when the light hits them just so.

This one even bloomed a few weeks ago, a first for me!

But to make the question, and thus post, current if I were asked that question today my answer would be the Dioon edule, because it’s putting out a flush of new growth! It's first for me...

I’m very excited about that, and watching the changes as they happen daily. So…what’s your favorite plant in your garden right now?

54 comments:

  1. great question. Today and right this very moment it is yucca rostrata for me. The sunshine hits it at the most magical angle this time of morning (9:30 ish) and it glows. I don't know how else to put it. It looks like the plant is fake with some sort of internal light up mechanism that makes it look like it's glowing. Yesterday I would have told you rosemary. I was running my fingers through it and had the most divine scent on my hands.

    I loooove your alocasia/colocasia collection. They are stellar. I fully understand why that would be a current fav!

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    1. Oh yes! I know exactly what you mean about the Yucca rostrata catching the light...I love that!

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  2. Right now I think my favorite is my artichoke, which is flowering. I didn't realize how big those flowers were, and the bees just love it. It's planted in the gravel garden right near the front, so I see it every time I go out to run errands in the car.

    What is that third elephant ear down, the one that looks like it has blue splotches in it? Is it really blue, or is that a trick of the camera? I don't really need anything else that requires wintering over, or watering, but dang! It's gorgeous.

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    1. Smart you planting a plant like that where you can see it and enjoy it daily!

      That's Colocasia 'Mojito'...and the spots are actually black, sometimes looking a little blue, both to the camera and the eye.

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  3. Right now, my favorite plant is my Meliathus major 'Purple Haze'. After being cut back this winter it has returned with a beautiful tumble of glistening, serrated leaves. It brightens up the space between two clumps of bamboo, and the color variations between the older, more purple leaves and the new light-green leaves is wonderful.

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    1. And if we have mild winter just think how huge it might be next year! (since we've both learned the error of our ways and will not be cutting ours back this year).

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  4. I love your EEs. They are one of my favorite plants too. But without a doubt my favorite plants at the moment are the nine bougainvilleas I have in pots. They are my most reliable plant for summer color and the hotter the weather the more they bloom. The sun is too glary to take a photo right now so I'm including a link to one that was taken last year about this time. I had to put up sheets and beach umbrellas to shade the roses in the record heat and drought for Texas, but the bougies were happily blooming away. The weather has not been quite so hot and dry this year, thank goodness!

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v214/RoseLee/Roselee%20II/TentCity2728.jpg

    Ragna

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    1. Oh I love bougainvilleas and wish I could grow them! Thank you for including the link, they are gorgeous!

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  5. My Hydrangea aspera macrophylla.

    Whilst it has not flowered this year (the flower buds were cruelly frosted off back at the beginning of spring) it is growing very well and producing lovely big velvety leaves. Also, the petioles of the leaves are going a delightful red colour. This is something I have not noticed before.

    It has only been in the ground for 18 months and I have a strong feeling that it is going to continue to perform better and better each year!

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    1. Oh that looks like a good one! Isn't it wonderful when a new plant out performs our expectations?

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  6. sandy lawrenceSeptember 07, 2012

    101º here in the TX Hill Country. Some fall! Not fit for man nor beast. Nor plants. My favorite plant right now has to be the Unsinkable Molly Brown of the garden, Gomphrena 'Firecracker'. No matter how high the temp or the humidity; no matter how dry the soil,'Firecracker' keeps cranking out the neon pink fuzzy blooms on those tall, airy stems. It even re-seeds itself. How could I not love it?

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    1. We hit 95 here in Portland yesterday, not too far behind ya'll! Of course I'm sure your wasn't just a one day thing. Besides being a super performer I love the name of your fav!

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  7. This time of year my favorite plant is usually a flowering vine, and I think this year it's my Passiflora incarnata or "Maypop". It's been flowering all summer long and is full of the wonderful if hard to eat fruit. It's covering about 50% of my pergola this year. :-)

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    1. That sounds lovely...such cray alien spaceship flowers I still remember the first time I saw one and just stood there and stared.

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  8. yes i have thoes plant growing wildly...

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  9. OMG one of our Mojito's went nuts this year, it's second year! It's just about over my head.

    http://instagram.com/p/OuU-96kqV-/

    http://instagram.com/p/OuVoXSEqWc/

    I need to get some photos of a few others that have made me happy... when we've actually been out back!


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    1. WOW...that is amazing! Mine don't even compare, thanks for the links!

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  10. Bessera elegans ( my most recent post) is looking spectacular at the moment. As for foliage plants I have to admit to being a rather fickle friend to my Agaves; they got through the winter in a very poor state, and i thought my love affair with this genus was over. This is surely a bad sign of character for a gardener to blame the plant for poor performance? Anyway after some repotting and new compost the Agaves are looking great again and the love affair continues.

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    1. I completely understand your issues with your agave friends. There are always a few that I think about tossing in the spring. Sometimes I find that taking them out of the container and sticking them in the ground works wonders. I always think I'll just leave them and let them pass on with the winter freeze but then by the end of the summer they are looking so good I have to dig them up and re-pot them.

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  11. EE and C's are great. While they are some of my favorites, I gotta say that I'm love the bamboo magic happening over here. It has really grown large this year and adds and element of shade around our property. Excellent plant!

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    1. My Snapdragon Tree/ Chilopsis linearis.....sorry I put the wrong link in the first time. http://beechstreetgardens.blogspot.com/2011/08/snapdragon-tree.html

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    2. Now I never would have believed that tree would make it here in Portland, bravo!

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  13. I have to have more than one! so, Brugmansia 'Shorty's Variegated' smothered with peach highly scented blooms, to die for, Colocasia Diamond Head, fabulous elephant ear that looks like black silk, Begonia 'Anna Faille' great substance, smothered with huge flower clusters, easy to bloom and grow, and last but not least Sunpatiens Variegated Spreading Salmon... incredible grower and bloomer. The plants I put in as four inch pots are now two foot by three foot shrubs of color, fabulous.

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    1. Yes it is hard to pick just one isn't it? I know I kind of cheated too by including all of my colocasia and alocasia.

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  14. My favorite plant at the moment is also my favorite plant in the garden , Saxifraga fortunei 'Silver Velvet' ,more for sentimental reasons, it's not spectacular , but a tiny treasure that was one of the first I planted, it has survived all the digging up and moving to different areas in an attempt to get it to grow, But no it remains almost the same size as when I planted it, I love it anyway !

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    1. Will I'm glad to hear it's still alive, at least!

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  15. Anything Colocasia is right up there. Certainly the object of my most recent blog entry, Lespedeza thunbergii. Two plants that have been catching my eye all season though are Albizia julibrissin 'Summer Chocolate' and Leycesteria formosa 'Golden Lanterns'. Fabulous garden specimens with all season structural foliage.

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    1. Your colocasia are AMAZING Sue! Huge!

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  16. Great pictures and such exciting plants - I was thinking of blogging on Colocasia and so on too as I've seen so many good examples this summer. Probably still will as I guess I'll say something different!

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    1. Oh please do...we can never see too many fabulous colocasia!

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  17. It's a close contest, but the winner is...Castor Bean. I love everything about it: the bronzy leaves, the funky, fluffy flowers, the bright red prickly pods...and the fact that all of its parts are highly poisonous just adds to its allure for me (the only resemblance I have shown to an axe murderer).

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    1. Yay for the Castor Bean, I look forward to seeing them in person in October!

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  18. “What’s your favorite plant” is a much different question from “what's your favorite plant in your garden right now?”

    Yes indeed! You stopped me short with those last 2 words!

    So in my reply, "right now" may be only for a few minutes until I think of something else! I think my answer is Amsonia hubrechtii. My Vitex agnus-castus is a close second. (I live in Canada and so I am delighted it enjoys it here.) I also love my Pinellia tripartita 'Atropurpurea' which is reblooming now.

    But in the "love it and have high hopes" department, I am enjoying a tiny Salix Babylon Crispa. 'Crispa' (synonym: 'Annularis') is a mutant of 'Babylon', with spirally curled leaves.

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    1. I'm glad read that you're giving Amsonia hubrechtii high marks, I just purchased 2 small plants and can't wait to get them in the ground. Although I am waiting...it's to dry here now to plant.

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  19. My favorite plant in the landscape presently, is the Fig tree.

    I like the form, the fruit and especially how good the leaves still look a couple of weeks before autumn arrives. It's the plant I look at most often.

    Surprisingly, my beech trees, which are favorites, and not my absolute fave.

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    1. I've got a neighbor with a lovely fig tree in her hell strip so I know what you're talking about. Such a wonderful leaf!

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  20. The Parahebe (or Derwentia) perfoliata gets right back into flowering after being cut back over the summer, and this time of year the sun angle has changed and lights the Anemanthele lessoniana behind it.
    Ah, indian summer.

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    1. Good to read since my Parahebe has sat there doing nothing all year. Maybe next year...

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  21. Mammillaria meiacantha that has really plumped up since I planted it in the ground in the spring, after a year in a pot. Although, the extreme amount of pampas plumes this year is a very close second.

    http://cactguy.tumblr.com

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    1. Oh that's a good one...although your pampas plumes are pretty impressive too!

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  22. Nice plants! You really need to join the aroid society! Think about it...

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    1. Uhm...okay I am thinking about it!

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  23. My favorites are the ones that are doing the best right now: Orange/yellow Mexican zinnias and the out-of-control coleus Kong.
    Ray

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    1. I grew Kong once and wasn't impressed. I'm glad to hear it performs better for others. As for your Zinnias I am very jealous!

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  24. Huhhh...good question! Maybe the Yucca 'Margaritaville', because it is blooming for the very first time. Some of the roses are doing great because of extra water due to the heat. The new Crepe Myrtles are blooming like crazy, so I'm really happy with those...I guess I can't pick just one. :(

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    1. And there is nothing wrong with that!

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  25. Right now its my blooming frangipanis. Love the fragrance, too.

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    1. Oh yes...bonus points when a beautiful plant also adds fragrance to the garden. I really need to get better at including that element.

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  26. Love all those graphic colocasia!

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  27. Love your Mojito! And now is the right time to admire Alo-Colocasias as they are at their prime :)

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    1. Definitely! Although with continued heat around here (at least for another week) they will hopefully continue to throw out new leaves!

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